Marvel has been doing a series of videos called Becoming Marvel where they show cosplayers putting together and donning their costumes. It’s been an interesting series so far, as it shows a lot of the work that we don’t normally see that is put into the design and look of elaborate costumes. But the latest one is a bit special in that it involved Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas.
Taboo, born Jamie Luis Gomez, is a Shoshone Indian on his mother’s side of the family. The multi-talented rapper/singer/actor grew up a fan of comics, but didn’t see any Native American heroes when he was growing up. But upon learning of the Marvel character Red Wolf, he wanted to embrace the character through cosplay. But he doesn’t talk about dressing as him or portraying him — Taboo wanted to become Red Wolf. With the help of costume designer Lauren Matesic of Castle Corsetry, Taboo got his chance.
Red Wolf first appeared in Avengers #80 (1970) as a man named William Talltrees. He was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema. After the success of his first appearance and a move to incorporate more female and minority heroes, Red Wolf got his own nine-issue series, except it was set in the old west and featured Talltrees ancestors Johnny Wakely (Issue 1-6) and Thomas Thunderhead (Issues 7-9). This series was done by Gardner Fox and Syd Shores. In 1992, Mark Gruenwald and Herbe Trimpe created the first of the Red Wolf line in a man named Wildrun, who ended up swearing loyalty to Kang the Conqueror after the time traveler best him in battle. He appeared as an Anachronaut in the Avengers Forever run, but Talltrees is still the Red Wolf of the modern era.
You can tell from the way Taboo speaks about the character that it means more to him than just putting on a costume. The character and the outfit represent his heritage and his grandmother. If Red Wolf were to ever appear in one of Marvel’s live-action films or television series, I think Taboo would be happy to play the character.